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Re: Video and color in E-journals in the era of print cancellations

In the sciences, many of the items mentioned by Peter F. Boyce are truly
of importance. (I suspect this they are perhaps even more vital for some
fields of the humanities.)

For example, most sophisticated micrographic techniques show their
information in the form of color. The cost of color print publication is
extremely high, and usually charged to the author. When printed, it is
impossible to copy them adequately except with very expensive equipment.
The opportunity for the relatively inexpensive color production possible
on the web is a major asset.  Our most expensive journals per page are the
ones with extensive micrographs, and the opportunity to decrease
production costs would be very important.

Videos are becoming the standard way of showing kinetics and 3-dimensional
relationships in chemistry and biochemistry; there is no good equivalent.

Areas with the most extensive data tables never attempt to print them;
they are available now as supplementary publication or databases; the
ability to incorporate this into the article is a major step forward in

Links to other articles will be much much more valuable when all journals
are universally available in electronic form. Even now, the existence of
indexing and abstracting services in some fields with essentially
universal subject coverage, such as PubMed in the biomedical sciences,
gives the ability to link each reference to at least the text of the
abstract. This is already a big hit with the users.

These are not in general very high cost features--certainly not as
compared to trying to do the equivalent in print.

I am more dubious of some other added value features: full text indexing
of article text, elaborate publishers' home pages, publishers' provision
of abstract services that duplicate the indexing services, online
discussion groups and job information services that duplicate the
internet. I will note that Mr. Boyce did not mention any of these, so I
can hope he agrees.

David Goodman
Biology Librarian, Princeton University Library
dgoodman@princeton.edu         http://www.princeton.edu/~biolib/
phone: 609-258-3235            fax: 609-258-2627


Rick Anderson wrote:
> Peter says:
> > But, don't limit it in the other direction.  The electronic version
> > should contain more than you can put on paper.
> I say:
> Actually, this is an issue that I think bears some discussion.  I agree
> that the electronic version ought to offer "more" than the paper version
> does, but more what?  Of the several added features that Peter suggests in
> his last message, there are at least two that I think have potential for
> increasing the sexiness of an electronic product without increasing its
> actual research utility, and I'm concerned about the danger of trends in
> that direction.  Machine-readable data tables and links to corrigenda
> would probably enhance the online versions of most journals, but color
> plates, for example, are probably more useful than B&W in relatively few
> fields (though color illustrations are certainly essential in some of
> those).  Same with video clips.
> ....
> ----------------------
> Rick Anderson
> Head Acquisitions Librarian
> Jackson Library
> UNC Greensboro
> 1000 Spring Garden St.
> Greensboro, NC 27402-6175
> PH (336) 334-5281
> FX (336) 334-5399
> rick_anderson@uncg.edu
> http://www.uncg.edu/~r_anders